newspaper article

The Arizona Republic

Saturday, Sept. 18, 1976

Southern Arizona

Well-known star returns to sing for hometown


TUCSON- Singer Linda Ronstadt, whose father owns a hardware store here, is the classical case of the home town kid who made good.

She dropped out of Catalina High School. She sang in local coffee houses. Left home. Had a few hit records. Got good reviews in Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times.

Now, at age 30, she is an established star.

Linda lives in Malibu. But she came to town the other night and sang at the Community Center in a benefit show for the Arizona Desert Museum. Her father serves on the museum's board of directors.

I went to the concert to see what she had to say about being back home in Tucson. It's not unusual for entertainers to talk about their careers during a performance. I thought anyone who struggled in school and sang unnoticed in coffee houses had plenty of anecdotes to pass on, especially to a sympathetic home town audience.

But whatever Linda thought about Tucson, she didn't tell the audience. She walked on stage without an introduction, and started singing.

.. She sang for 90 minutes. And the only thing she said was that her father owned a hardware store and it was great fun to pet some of the animals at the Desert Museum, something she had wanted to do since childhood but wasn't allowed to because of regulations.

Her show wasn't spectacular, that's not her style. She didn't try to sooth the audience with remarks on topical subjects or down home humor. In fact, she appeared a bit nervous and shy between numbers.

But the audience of 8,000, that was more Nashville than Woodstock, didn't go to see Linda the showman. Or Linda the glamour girl. It went to hear Linda sing in what music critic John Rockwell calls her "marvelous clear, low soprano voice." And no one cared if she was born in Tucson or Tuscaloosa. It just wanted to hear pop, country, and rock- and kept asking for more.

It was the highest tribute the audience could have paid.

And the singer from the Tucson coffee houses paid a tribute of sorts to her home town fans. She didn't wear her success on her sleeve.

Linda Ronstadt is appearing tonight at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.

thanks to Rob Willhoit for providing this article.

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